Climbing the Mountain of Film – 37th Annual Banff comes to the Arlington

Once upon a time, there was a film festival in a far off distant land called Alberta, and when it was finished with its selection of short features, it would gather the best of the best and send them out into the world on tour, for other people to see. At first only a few people knew about this tour of festival films, and a place like, say, Campbell Hall at UCSB could comfortably hold those fans of mountaineering, skiing, and environmental travel videos.

But word of mouth spread, and now we find ourselves this coming week with two different film programs on two different nights — Wednesday and Thursday — filling the Arlington. It’s time for the Best of the 37th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival.

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Climb Every Mountain — Popular Banff documentary film festival returns to UCSB for two days

There are film festivals that you go to in the mountains, like Sundance and Telluride. And then there are film festivals that come from the mountains to you. That would be the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which swings past UCSB this Tuesday and Wednesday for two days of the best in mountain-themed documentaries, from climbing to gliding.

The festival has been coming to UCSB on tour since 1992. The festival originally started as a community event in Banff, Canada. It was a way, Fest coordinator Seana Strain says, of bridging the gap between the summer and winter recreational seasons. It gained such popularity that the festival was taken on the road. The first tour went across Canada only, but the word of mouth spread. Today, the tour hits 30 cities worldwide, and even includes a few shows in the Antarctic, making this viewable in all seven continents.

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